- Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
- Resolution: 1080p/24
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Audio Codec: Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0 Stereo (48kHz/24-bit); English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (48kHz/24-bt)
- Subtitles: English
- Region: AB (No Region C)
- Rating: TV-MA
- Discs: 7 (3 x Blu-ray + 4 x DVD)
- Run time: 650 Mins.
- Studio: FUNImation Entertainment
- Blu-ray Release Date: January 31, 2012
- List Price: $74.98
Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures
(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
From director Kōichi Mashimo, the director of the well regarded anime series Noir comes this similarly themed series based a visual novel, which seems to be a common trait these days. Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom is a crime drama and dark romance that, while it does have its weaknesses, is still magnificently crafted, addictive, and filled with memorable characters.
The story is of a Japanese tourist who travels to the United States only to witness a murder who finds himself waking up in an abandoned warehouse, with no memories, pursued by a mysterious masked woman trying to kill him. Trapped, he is forced then and there to make a crucial decision – to either accept his fate and be killed on the spot, or to be trained as an assassin for a powerful organized crime group known as Inferno by the very same woman who was just trying to kill him.
He decides he wants to live and thereby becomes known simply as Zwei, to be trained by Ein, aka The Phantom, Inferno’s top assassin. It begins an intertwining of fates between the two of them, with the strings being pulled by a man in Inferno known as Scythe Master, that will play out over the course of a few years with often tragic consequences. As the lifting of the veil that surrounds Inferno begins and Zwei and Ein both seek knowledge of their pasts, violence, conspiracies, and multi-layered plots hurl toward a grand finale.
Without spoiling anything for anyone, the issues that keep Requiem for the Phantom from being absolutely perfect, are that the major turning points that act as the divisions between the series’ three parts are fairly transparent and predictable. It means that it plays out as far less dramatic than one believes the series creators intended it to be. The true driving force behind the series is the pseudo-incestuous sexual tension that continues to grow between Zwei and Ein and each continuing revelation about the depths of Inferno’s depravity and reach. Intertwined with the exceptional musical soundtrack that hits all the right emotional tones and use of visual effects to highlight the animation, the series becomes on the whole incredibly satisfying.
Requiem for the Phantom is marked by stylized imagery that often has purposely applied digital “grain” and other special effects “lighting” added to the animation. The resulting image can be at times gritty, other times diffuse, and often sharp as a tack. The AVC 1080p transfer from FUNimation is rather spot on in conveying this without hampering the enjoyment in any way. The line art always seems quite well defined and colors often look splendid.
The audio, whether you are listening to the original Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0 Stereo (48kHz/24-bit) or English dub in Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (48kHz.24-bit) is equally solid, putting forth the moody musical soundtrack, special effects and subtle atmospherics with good dynamics, clearly defined panning and clean dialogue. The 5.1 mix has effective lows and ample ambience in the surround channels with tasteful discrete panning that balances out the mix.
Although the supplements are anchored by the usual promotional fare, FUNimation has included the “Picture Dramas” otherwise known as motion comics for Requiem for the Phantom on the disc as well, which sort of extend the story minimally.
- Picture Dramas (1.78:1; 1080p/24):
- Acting School
- Meeting of Inferno
- My Fair Lizzie
- Shooting Practice
- The Comedy Stand
- Oberman, In Short, Obama
- Steamy Spa
- Big Magnum Ms. Lizzie
- Three Girl Detectives
- Hand-to-Hand Combat Training
- Original Commercials (1.78:1; SD; 00:04:08)
- Textless Opening Song – Karma
- Textless Opening Song – Senritsu No Kodomotachi
- Textless Closing Song – Jigoku No Mon
- Textless Closing Song – Transparent
The Definitive Word
A superbly worked out crime drama and dark romance with a few minor holes, Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom‘s 26-episodes on Blu-ray is a fantastic way to burn through an entire weekend. Highly recommended.
Additional Screen Captures